By Monica Lambert
No one will argue that it’s been a tough year for literally everyone.
The Kern River Valley Historical Society was one of the first to close their doors for the planned “two-to-three week” Covid-19 shutdown back in March. As the shutdown surpasses its sixth month, the bills continue to arrive.
“Most of our docents are retired people, some into their eighties,” Dianna Anderson, curator for the museum, told the Kern Valley Sun. “We will be among the last to open, even when given the green light. We have to think of the potential for exposure to our docents.”
As the museum struggles to stay viable, their board of directors is working to find creative ways to pay expenses such as taxes, utilities, etc. Anderson and museum President Erie Johnson provided a closed-door tour of what they have been doing while they remain closed.
The all-volunteer Historical Society board and its members are quietly working to refresh, remodel displays and exhibits, and continue ongoing research at the museum and annex for when they can reopen. All their time and supplies have been donated by a benefactor, and no museum funds are being spent during the maintenance, painting, repairing and updating of displays.
Tarps are down and walls are being painted, as board members chat and continue their chores.
Anderson proudly talked about the new Cowboy Room and Native American basket displays. She went on to explain an in-progress wall that depicts the recreational history of the valley. Anderson explained her vision for the wall with anticipation and excitement. Suspended from the ceiling above the room is a historical kayak. Tom Johnson’s design and construction materials changed the sport.
The Event Announcement
The Kern River Valley Historical Society requests the absence of your person for ‘A Non-Event Fundraiser.’
Now we know what you’re thinking, a non-story about another 2020 non-event fundraiser. Huh?
This event will never take place and you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. Stay home, kick back, read a book, sip an iced tea or take a nap. We’re kicking off our non-event fundraiser in the comfort of your own homes.
Just look at what you’ll save: the cost of two rubber-chicken dinners $70, raffle tickets $25, 50/50 drawing $20, a new ill-fitting outfit $120, babysitter $40, unwanted auction items $150— not to mention sitting through the boring speaker. No masks required!
Just make a donation to the Historical Society for what you would have normally spent at your typical fundraiser— and all of it being tax-deductable.
All proceeds will help get the museum through the ongoing COVID-19 closure and help pay for utilities, insurance, taxes and other vital expenses. You can participate by not going anywhere and making donation checks payable to the KRV Historical Society; and mailed to P.O. Box 651; Kernville, CA 93238.
Memberships also help support the museum. They are: Individual $30, Family $40 and Business $75. Business supporters are listed in their monthly newsletter. You can mail a check for membership to the address above.
Anderson explained that the fundraiser idea was borrowed from another museum at a time when, according to Time Magazine, 760 museum directors— one-third of institutions surveyed— said they are not confident they can survive over the next several months. “While revenues have decreased radically and there are ongoing expenses, we rely on resources through continued community support that should allow the KRV Historical Society and Museum to survive,” she said.